Panjshir remains to be the only land that the Talibans have not yet succeeded in capturing even after they seized control of the rest of Afghanistan.
The resistance movement is being led by Ahmad Massoud, son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the original face of the resistance against the Talibans and the Soviets in Afghanistan earlier back in the past.
The mujahideen commander was assassinated by the collaborative conspiracy of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in 2001, before the 9/11 attack. Thereafter, eldest son Ahmad Massoud took it upon his shoulders to carry his father’s legacy and intention forward.
Panjshir, The Land That Talibans Couldn’t Capture Yet
Panjshir is located 150 kilometres northeast of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul. The name means ‘five lions’. Staying true to its name, it has shown it is the only place in the country which has not yet given up to the Taliban forces after US armed forces took the exit gate.
Ahmad Massoud along with Amrullah Saleh, Afghan Vice-President of Ghani’s government are holding out and have promised resistance. Ahmad believes a Taliban government will be an extremist and totalitarian regime.
He is okay with a government where the Taliban participate, but he refuses to give up complete freedom to the hands of the terror group. He is of the opinion that negotiation is the only way to come to a middle ground.
Ahmad Massoud has said, “We are in favour of building a free, independent and prosperous Afghanistan, and this can be achieved through dialogue and understanding. But if it’s about force and war, you know us.”
Face Off Between The Taliban And Ahmad Massoud
The present scenario with Panjshir is now more heated than ever. The Taliban troops have headed towards the valley of Panjshir. But both sides are looking for a peaceful way out and aspiring to avoid violence and bloodshed.
But in case the situation worsens, the Taliban have fighters stationed near Panjshir, ready to take action as and when they feel required. The numbers are in the hundreds as they wait for an order to attack the province.
But if statements are to be believed from the Anti-Taliban bastion, they too have forces ready to control the situation. A representative of the group stated in a tweet, “Hundreds of Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate are heading towards the state of Panjshir to control it, after local state officials refused to hand it over peacefully.”
Ahmad Massoud’s partner in resistance Amrullah Saleh also said in a tweet, “Talibs have massed forces near the entrance of Panjshir a day after they got trapped in ambush zones of neighboring Andarab valley & hardly went out in one piece. Meanwhile, Salang highway is closed by the forces of the Resistance. ‘There are terrains to be avoided’. See you.”
But people are not sure of how strong this resistance movement is or how large of an army they have in dispense for the cause.
With the Taliban having recaptured the three districts of Bano, Deh Saleh and Pul-e-Hesar which were earlier under the control of the resistance movement, now it’s only a matter of time until we get to witness if Ahmad Massoud succeeds in keeping the Taliban out of Panjshir in this faceoff.
Image Credits: Google Images
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